Stay on task during the Holidays with Matrix Holiday Course
Don’t think you have the discipline to effectively study during the holidays? That’s okay. We got your back! Matrix Holiday Courses will guide you through the next term’s content and provide you with plenty of practice questions. Learn more now.
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As you can see, each dot point specifies the exact skills and knowledge you need to know. So, if you need to double-check what’s missing from your notes, just take a look at the syllabus and compare it with your notes.
2. Set your priorities
The holidays do not mean that you have all the time in the world to do everything you want to do. After 2 or 6 weeks, you will be back in school, and just like that, your holidays are over.
So, it’s important that you are setting out your priorities for the Holidays.
You should prioritise filling in notes for your least confident topics of all your subjects first.
To do this, you should:
Gather a list of dot points that you are missing from your notes
Rate each dot-point out of 5 based on your confidence level (1 = very unsure, 5 = very confident)
Now, work from your least confident dot points across all your subjects first (This would be 1-2/5)
Then work through your average – high dot points across all your subjects (3-5/5).
By working on your weak dot-points first, you ensure that you have notes for your all unconfident dot-points… especially because you might not be able to get through all your missing notes during the holidays.
4. Revise what you learned in the previous term
The key to memorising and understanding content is consistent spaced repetition. This can come in the form of:
Reviewing and annotating notes
Completing quizzes and past papers
1. Review and annotate notes
A common way to revise your previous term’s content is to go over your notes again!
This will help you refresh your memory about what you learned during the term and ensure that you aren’t missing any crucial pieces of knowledge.
However, it is crucial that you are not simply re-reading your notes as this is ineffective!
Instead, you need to:
Look, cover, check: Read your notes. Cover it up. And attemp to recall it.
Connect content with existing knowledge: Doing this helps you extend your understanding of your content because you are able to figure similarities and differences between two different concepts.
Annotate and add more notes: As you go through your notes, add annotations for any new findings. This includes mnemonics, connections with other concepts or additional research.
2. Complete quizzes and past papers
It is crucial that you are consistently testing your knowledge. This will help you identify what you know and don’t know about the topic.
It also helps you put your knowledge into practical use because you are challenged to communicate your understanding.
So, attempt to complete a variety of quizzes and past papers by:
Searching online for past papers
Asking your teachers for past papers or quizzes
Collating a bank of questions with your friends and completing them individually
Remember, you don’t have to always complete a full past paper. You can always write dot points for answers, or skip over your confident questions to save time.
3. Teach others
As the American physicist, J Robert Oppenheimer, said, “The best way to learn is to teach!”
Teaching helps you better understand and memorise what you’ve learned
This is because you need to develop a deep understanding of the concept and be able to communicate it clearly for another person to understand.
In simple terms, when you are teaching another person, you break down the information into manageable chunks in your head. This also helps you better retain the information.
So, gather some friends and family members and teach them about something you’ve learned. If there is no one, then you can always teach out loud to a group of plushies or to yourself!
4. Target weaknesses
After every term, you will for sure have some weaknesses in every subject.
The holidays is a perfect opportunity to brush up on these not-so-confident topics and make them into confident topics.
To do this, you should:
Ask for help from your teachers, Matrix teachers and tutors, or friends
These two different elements of the syllabus will help you know exactly what is expected of you in the next term.
2. Preview textbooks chapters/prescribed text
Once you know which topics you are doing for next term, you should briefly go through the textbook or your prescribed text.
Your teachers should have given you a textbook at the beginning of the year for your subjects. However, if they didn’t, you can always visit the library and borrow it!
Remember, it is okay if you don’t understand everything in your textbook.
Your aim these holidays is to gain a basic understanding of the topic before the term, so you have more time to revise and extend your knowledge during the term!
So, to do this, you should:
Read and attempt to break down the information in the textbook
Skip over challenging ideas if it’s taking too long
Link the content to existing knowledge
Make preliminary notes
8. Study with a friend
Remove the temptation to hang out with your friends by having study meet-ups with them!
This way, you guys can learn together and have someone to keep you accountable.
However, it is very important that you are studying with people who won’t distract you.
If you find yourselves procrastinating more when you are working with certain people, then don’t invite them to your study sessions. It will defeat the purpose of having a study session!
So, what should you do during a study session?
1. Set your goals for the study session and tell your friends
Before every study session, you should always set out what you want to complete during the session.
Now share your goals with your friends to keep each other accountable.
This will ensure that you guys won’t get sidetracked and will complete an appropriate amount of work during the study session.
2. Learn together
Take advantage of your friend(s) and learn together! You can always:
Break down the content together
Teach each other different concepts
Test each other
Ask each other for help!
3. Reward yourselves
After each session, you guys can reward yourselves with dinner or a bowling night. This will make your studying sessions much more enjoyable and rewarding.
7. Focus on long term goals
Yes, sometimes it gets a little demotivating when you have to study during the holidays,
However, being able to reach your long term goal is much more satisfying than going to the pools.
As such, it is important that you clearly identify your long term goal and continually remind yourself of them during the holidays.
So, how do you do this?
1. Identify what you want to achieve
This can be achieving a 90+ ATAR, coming top 3 in your grade for Science, or increasing your next assessment marks by 5.
It is important that you have a long term goal, because it gives you direction.
If you aren’t working towards anything, you will lose focus and never improve.
So, remember, you should create a goal that is simultaneously achievable and challenging.
You don’t want to give up on your goal because you feel like you can never achieve it. But also, you don’t want to create a goal that is too easy for you because it won’t be rewarding.
After you’ve done this, set a deadline for this goal. Do you want to achieve this next term, by the end of the year, or in the next 2 years?
2. Write it on post-it notes around the house
This will serve as a reminder for you to stay focused during the holidays.
It should motivate you to get up and study!
You can see it the moment you wake up, when you go to the bathroom, in the kitchen… everywhere!
3. Now, create smaller, more achievable goals
You can’t achieve your long term by simply cruising through the holidays and studying whenever and whatever you feel like.
Instead, you need to set out actionable steps that will help you get close to your goal.
Write down exactly what you want to study during the day that will help you achieve your long term goal.
8. Prioritise studying over events
We know. It’s tempting to say ‘yes’ to outings, but you need to prioritise studying over events.
However, this doesn’t mean you can’t hang out with your friends at all. That’s crazy!
Instead, prioritising studying means that you are more focused on completing your set tasks during the week, as opposed to going to the park or the movies.
So, how do you prioritise studying over events?
1. Finish your daily tasks early
You can visit your friends or play Among Us all night… as long as you finish your daily tasks first.
The easiest way to do this is to complete your set tasks the moment you wake up.
Once it’s done, you are free to do whatever you want.
Think about it, you don’t want to procrastinate all day, only to receive an invite to play Among Us when you were just about to start studying. What are you going to do? Decline your friends or neglect your work?
Don’t put yourself in this situation.
2. Say no to events
Giving yourself a good 1 or 2 day break each week is a good idea. However, giving yourself a 4 day break out of 7 days is not.
Remember, you can’t say yes to every invitation.
It is okay to say no.
Select the events that you really want to go to, and decline the rest. Your friends and family will understand.
9. Relax! Give yourself 1 or 2 rest days a week
Despite hammering you with tips to stay motivated to study throughout the holidays, we want you to take a break too!
It’s especially important that you are giving yourself plenty of rest during the holidays to refresh your brain.
It is the holidays after all. You don’t want to burn out!
So, give yourself 1-2 days a week where you aren’t staring at your laptops or your textbook.